Paper mache refers to the use of paper soaked in water and glue and then moulded. Paper mache is a very versatile craft and though it is typically associated with art activities for children it is also a worthy medium for adults. Use paper mache when you want a medium that is capable of fine detail and some sturdiness. Objects made of paper mache are very light and, if treated with a modicum of care, last very well.
Paper Mache Beads
Roll up lumps of paper mache into spheres and ovals of various sizes and then allow them to dry. After they are dry, paint them and poke a hole through them with a very small drill or a large and heavy needle. Paper mache beads are very light, but they can be very large. Paint the beads to resemble stone or simply use any colour that you choose to create a rainbow set. Make necklaces or earrings composed entirely of paper mache beads, or pair them with wooden or metal beads as well.
Paper mache is an excellent medium to use when you want to start maskmaking. Use a normal plastic mask or half-mask from the craft store as a base, cover it with cling film and then build your mask on top of it. Add a long nose, overhanging brow ridges or even horns if you want to portray a medieval devil. Afterward, you can sand the mask to make it smooth or you can leave it rough for an interesting texture. Paint your masks to give them a finished look.
Paper mache bowls are an excellent gift for friends, and they can be used to hold fruit or small household items. To make a paper mache bowl, cover an old bowl with cling film and use it as a mould for your bowl. Leave the paper mache to sit and dry in the regular bowl and, after it is done, you can cut away the rough edges. Add two layers of paper mache for extra sturdiness, allowing the first to dry out completely before applying the second.
If you want to add a lovely, personal green touch to your table, make your own paper mache napkin rings. Use a segment of the cardboard tube from a toilet paper roll as a base and thicken it up with paper mache. After the paper mache dries, trim it down if necessary and paint it. After you spray it with a waterproof varnish it is even relatively easy to clean with a damp cloth.
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